If you are interested in an alternative centerpiece for your engagement ring, now is a great time. Technological advances in the last decade have brought us diamond alternatives that alchemists have been dreaming of for centuries.
There is no one diamond alternative that is best for engagement rings, so we should discuss your options and your reasons for wanting a diamond alternative in order to find one that is right for you.
The most common diamond alternative for engagement rings among my customers is natural blue sapphire. Sapphires also come in other colors for those who prefer. Natural sapphire is expensive, but costs much less than diamond does.
Ruby, emerald, and alexandrite are three more excellent natural stones that my clients have set into engagement rings.
Lab-created gemstones are the ideal diamond alternative for the eco-friendly and budget conscious customer. Lab-created stones offer very high quality for the price as compared to natural stones.
Lab created diamonds are eco-friendly and conflict free, and cost about 1/3 less than natural diamond. Technically, they’re not a true diamond alternative, since they are real diamonds. They will last for decades with minimal or no chipping.
Lab-created sapphire, ruby, emerald, and alexandrite are all excellent quality diamond alternatives that cost a fraction of their natural counterparts. For eco-friendly customers on a budget, lab-created are an excellent choice.
Moissanite is a durable lab-created gemstone that has only a slightly inferior look to diamond at a much lower price. Moissanite was discovered in a meteorite just over a hundred years ago, and was replicated in a lab at gemstone size and quality only in the new millennium.
Not-so-great diamond alternatives:
The main characteristics one wants to look for in a diamond alternative are beauty and durability. There are a few diamond alternatives that are not very durable, or not so pretty.
Since engagement rings are worn almost every day, you want a stone that will not chip or scratch easily. Anything with a moh’s hardness of 9 or higher is good. Some softer stones are ok, like emerald or alexandrite, but your lady will have to be more careful with it. I usually don’t recommend stones that are 7 or softer, like Aquamarine, Amethyst, Peridot, Pearl, Opal.
Finally, watch out for stones that aren’t pretty. White sapphires look like diamond to someone who knows nothing about diamonds, but they don’t scintillate like diamonds do. I don’t usually recommend white sapphire.
Many companies sell synthetic diamond simulants as lab-created diamonds. If the price is too good to be true, you’re probably buying very expensive Cubic Zirconia.
If you have questions regarding diamond alternatives, please contact us here.
To see photos of engagement rings, please visit my engagement ring styles page.